Author Topic: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?  (Read 8028 times)

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Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #50 on: July 08, 2019, 10:56:55 pm »
the stuck on the repeater on 430 - 439.100
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 11:03:36 pm by Lord of nothing »
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Online Bicurico

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2019, 11:08:37 pm »
Couldn't resist and joined the conversation. I guess this topic pops-up every now and then on different forums about electronics/satellite reception.

"Is HAM Radio DEAD in 2019?"
Yes.

Why?
Because of two inventions that completetly killed HAM Radio:
- The Internet
- The Mobile Phone

Also, in Europe, you cannot listen to Police, Fire, Ambulances and other govermental services, as they changed to digital and use encryption.

I remember the 80ies as the prime time of HAM Radio and how I dreamed of one day being able to do it myself: unlimited communications around the world for free! Being able to listen to services communication (Police, Fire, Ambulances,...).

Then the 90ies and first amateur digital communications: sharing mailboxes, pictures, etc., for free!

Then I heard about intercontinetal communications with stratosfere or moon reflection...

Amazing!

Today the facts are:
- You can use the Internet to speak with anyone in the world, secure if you desire, including 3rd world countries.
- You can share documents, pictures, whatever over the Internet - including music and commercial contents (forbidden on HAM communications)
- Mobile phones let you do all that on the go

So, from a traditional HAM point of view, it just does not make sense to setup a huge antenna in the garden (if you have one), invests a lot of money in a transceiver and accessories, so that you can make a contact with a Japanese HAM, with whom you aranged a time and date over the internet...

BUT:

HAM is not really dead! Even I have a valid amateur radio license!

Why? Because I want to be able to experiment and make some transmissions.

I don't want to talk to anyone nor do I want to listen to some boring conversation.

I want to LEARN, UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTS, BUILD MY OWN SOFTWARE/HARDWARE. Just for the sake of it.

And this spirit still exists. People just don't have a radio shack in the backyard with a 2.000 Euro/Dollar Yeasu or Icom transceiver.

Instead they have a HackRF, ADALM Pluto or other SDR hardware. They use GNU Radio and listen to ISS or other services with 8 Euro RTL2832U dongles.

And, best of it all, they even don't really need any license: if they do broadcast, then it is with such low power, you cannot measure it through a wall or at 5m distance. So why bother with a license, at all?

My conclusion: Yes - talking on the radio about reception quality is dead (at least in Portugal and probably remaining Europe), but there is a new generation of people interested in RF for totally different reasons, interests and projects.

Regards,
Vitor
 
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Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2019, 12:23:03 am »
Quote
Also, in Europe, you cannot listen to Police, Fire, Ambulances and other govermental services, as they changed to digital and use encryption.
The Germans still use unencrypted Analogue Service do to lack of funding.
Quote
it just does not make sense to setup a huge antenna in the garden (if you have one)
Trust me what I got for recommendation from some insane CB User like move the Apartment to lay a 100m Antenna Cable from the Roof into the Attic.  :palm:
Quote
Even I have a valid amateur radio license!
depend what you pay for the licence each Month.
Quote
And, best of it all, they even don't really need any license: if they do broadcast, then it is with such low power, you cannot measure it through a wall or at 5m distance. So why bother with a license, at all?
Well you can legally use CB Radio, PMR446 (without change anything in the HW). There are some interresting Projects who I know with the legal 443Mhz, 868Mhz stuff and Zigbee, LORA,...

The think who sucks a lot is:
a) The people behind Amateur Radio are that old the maybe fall death from there chairs. So nothing change...
b) Digital is evil do to there mind.
c) The "evil" Main Amateur Radio Club put on any Hill an Repeater to argou that no "other" competing repeater System is needed
d) After passing the Test once the never need to renew it.  :--
e) So the start to chatting around and refuse to research,...
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Offline bob91343

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2019, 02:55:38 am »
I certainly don't quarrel with this tirade.  For all those reasons, ham radio has dwindled to a rather low population, at least in the US.

But an important element has been omitted.  For me, at least, talking on the radio with foreign countries is fun!  I could call these guys on my phone but where's the fun in that?  I don't know their telephone numbers anyway, and on the radio nobody will answer me unless he wants to talk to me.  The phone is an entirely different matter.  I can check into the ANZA net down under and guys will ask to talk to me.  And while most are guys, some are female.  There are hundreds of other nets, each offering something slightly differrent.  I even have a girl friend in Indonesia whom I met on 15m CW; she is a CW instructor and has a ton of trophies she has won in competition.  Then there are the DXperditions to unheard of and unpopulated places.  Those who go there spend a ton of money and risk their lives just to set up unique stations so we here can have another place to contact.  And for the most part, they don't have the Internet there.

So ham radio does have a lot to offer.  It depends on what interests you, and unless you check it out you have no idea what you can do with it.

The idea isn't necessarily communication, although it's that also.  I love operating the equipment, setting it up and repairing it.  My station is always changing, adding or removing or improving this or that.

So yes it's dead.  And no it's alive.  Depending on your perspective.
 

Offline Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2019, 03:27:08 am »
Never open and look into the box.
Quote from: bob91343 on Today at 21:55:38
So yes it's dead.  And no it's alive.  Depending on your perspective.
Voltage does not flow, nor does it go.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2019, 05:30:17 am »
this thread got so complicated I can only think of the necromonger lord marshal from the end of riddick
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2019, 07:49:42 am »
It would be a bit frustrating for those people with large antennas set up in the garden, and radio gears sitting in house taking up space, but they are not getting used at all.

I recently bought a tiny portable SW SSB AIR band radio called XHDADA for 70£, and it is a bit disappointing there is no much going on in HF bands.  I heard some faint CW signals from a few hundred miles away on 20m 40m and 80m bands, and some rag chew on 80m at night and early morning. That's all.

The HF band is also dead, it seems.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #57 on: July 09, 2019, 08:08:19 am »
That's probably a combination of a crappy antenna, crappy front end and not knowing were to look rather than nothing going on in the HF bands.

I just fired up my K2 with the bit of wire running around my living room and pulled in 7 QSOs (not just calling CQ) on 20m CW right now. I didn't bother tuning up to SSB half of the band.
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2019, 08:44:38 am »
XHDADA is an excellent SW radio with superb front end.  Antenna I am using is about 20m long wire in the garden, so it is not a DX antenna costing hundreds, but adequate for SWLing and listening to SSb on HF in good condition.

There are some weak CW stations on 20m and 40m bands today, but not as strong as usual normal condition of HF.  Usually at this time of day, 20m would be filled with European and Russian hams, but what I heard was G4 station on 20m via short skip? This is definitely not normal condition of HF.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2019, 08:55:32 am »
It's probably not as good as it looks. The dedicated ham band receivers have a very very narrow band specific front end versus a general coverage receiver so you don't get all the other SW stations causing blocking and overloading.
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #60 on: July 09, 2019, 09:06:02 am »
I used to run high end HF rigs from Kenwood ICOM and Yaesu and even Ten Tec, and got DXCC years ago, so I know how they are like.

These high end rigs are not much better than this little £70 SW radio on receive. This radio has built in DSP and Digital filters of various widths, so it is quite good. I was quite surprised when I got this XHDATA for its superb performance.

But with bigger and more efficient antennas set up high and clear, I am sure you could hear a lot more than just with a piece of wire in the garden.

 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #61 on: July 09, 2019, 10:28:17 am »
I got my DXCC worked over 250 countries with my 20m long wire in the garden.
With that long wire, I could hear and work most remote part of the world with 30-50W pep SB and CW when in good condition.

Last couple of days I could hear a faint European CW and G stations only with the same long wire.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #62 on: July 09, 2019, 10:32:50 am »
Yeah it's the ass end of the solar cycle now, that's why. Give it a year.

Still getting weak signal spots here on the other side of the planet.
 

Online FransW

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2019, 12:32:15 pm »
I sense a lot of frustration in this topic.
It's easy, if you can not find what you are looking in this hobby, please quit and stop bothering others who are finding their joy in experimenting and exchange information by way of ham radio.

Or, alternatively visit:
https://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/

Regards, Frans (PE1CCN, full license)
 
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Offline Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2019, 12:33:56 pm »
For fun try WBCQ 9330 at night with 500KW. Mega power that can be heard with a 6" antenna.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 12:43:53 pm by Quarlo Klobrigney »
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Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #65 on: July 09, 2019, 01:03:42 pm »
Quote
with a 6" antenna.
:-//
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Offline Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2019, 01:20:45 pm »
I work on a lot of restorations. Their signal closes many eye tubes completely with just a 6" antenna. On portable SS radios, I totally close the telescoping rod and they still come right in.
This in reply to a numb receiver mentioned previously.

Getting back on topic, Ham radio is not just old people talking about their ailments and who passed on. There are many new young people coming in to the hobby. This isn't 1970 anymore with the influx of of that era, but it still is valid.
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Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #67 on: July 09, 2019, 02:31:25 pm »
Everybody will die eventually, not just old people. That's just the destiny of life.  I have seen plenty of unfortunate young people on wheel chairs in hospice either by terminal illness such as cancer or strokes, or accidents getting fed and cleaned and medicated by the staff,  when my father was in there.

HF condition is definitely down, even commercial broadcast stations are pretty weak, and not many on air. I suppose even they have cut down the service and doing something else recently.

I just heard a CW station F6HKA calling CQ on 20m 14.051 for almost 30minutes, and no one replied to him, so he sent NIL, and then packed in.

I agree that Ham radio has more to it,  than just talking about trivialities of life. It is also for people who love learning, building and practicing electronics communications in more traditional way.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 02:54:46 pm by vinlove »
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #68 on: July 09, 2019, 02:36:57 pm »
double msg. deleted.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #69 on: July 09, 2019, 02:58:01 pm »
Ham radio can't compete with iPhones and the internet in terms of efficient communications.

You are either fascinated with RF propagation and radios/antennas - or you aren't. Take in the ones who are and leave the rest to their chosen enjoyment.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 
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Online Bicurico

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #70 on: July 09, 2019, 05:12:21 pm »
I forgot to mention, that Internet actually includes "Internet Forums" - probably one of the best inventions of the Internet. Forums allow people with otherwise rare/obscure hobbies to find like-minded people and discuss these topics with them. Which is what I am doing right now!

I think that in the 70ies-90ies, many electronic hobbyists had to rely to some extend to amateur radio to be able to contact people with similar interests. The same goes with magazines... Who still buys the Elektor or similar magazines?

Another thing that changed, I think, is that more and more people live in the city or at least in metrolpolitan areas, where there is simply no possibility of having a 20m wire as an antenna. I am fortunate to live in a house, but there is no space for such big antennas. Again, I am very lucky, as I do have a total of 10 satellite antennas (60cm to 120cm) on the roof, which is not accessible to most people.
But amateur radio communications really scream for big antennas.

Regards,
Vitor

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #71 on: July 09, 2019, 05:19:16 pm »
Quote
Ham radio can't compete with iPhones and the internet in terms of efficient communications.
Thats not true! If the old Fosiles would not argue against the digital Technique!  :box:

The give a sshhttt. The dont show where which Digital System is in use and how to configure it rite.
Quote
But amateur radio communications really scream for big antennas.
You can get a Digital Radio and use an Local Repeater to talk to the World.
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #72 on: July 09, 2019, 05:32:32 pm »
Also there's still pirate FM!  :-DD
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #73 on: July 09, 2019, 05:47:56 pm »
On milsat? I know.
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Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2019, 06:53:38 pm »
It's not about being able to share photos or talk to anyone in anywhere in the world. It is about personal liking about the hobby. I like the tone from SSB reception and rhythmic CW.

Also, although frustrating it may be, unpredictability of the band conditions are more exciting and fun than 100% reliability of internet.

Being able to talk about the band condition, antenna, rigs and electronic topics with other Hams are incredibly fun too.

Ham is not about more efficient communication or high tech, but for me, it was more fun contacting stations using 1 Watt Homebrew kit radio powered by some cell batteries, and getting good RST.

In that respect, no Ham Radio is not dead, and it will never die regardless how much internet takes over the world, how high the tech developed, or how many people are coming in or going off the hobby.

 


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